Wednesday, August 13, 2008

If romance writing were an Olympic sport...

The 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics are in full swing, and I'm caught up in the excitement. Besides living vicariously through the superstar athletes, I'm also getting a glimpse of Beijing from my couch. The city's architecture is stunning, but I'm more captivated by the rural beauty outside the city limits. At times the countryside looks magical with dark trees rising up in the background, mists weaving around their tips. My remote control will not be switching channels for the next few weeks.

The many events of the Olympics got me thinking: what if there were a romance writing event? What would it look like? How would it go down? My brain began stringing things together and here is what I came up with.

"Welcome to the final round of Romance Writing, women's division. I'm Rowdy Bones, and this is Skeeter Done. We are broadcasting live from the Cave."

"Thanks Rowdy. We've got an exciting line-up today. Eight contestants worldwide will compete for the gold medal. For those of you new to the sport, each finalist is equipped with one student desk, a laptop, a printer, printer paper, notebooks, pens, and pencils. Their goal? To write the ultimate query, synopsis, and partial manuscript."

"A big job, Skeeter. Are these ladies up to the challenge?"

"That they are. However, since this is the first time romance writing is being included in the Olympics, none of the writers are aware of the obstacles that will be thrown their way."

"No kidding. What kind of obstacles are we talking about, Skeeter?"

"Each desk has a phone in its drawer. That phone is going to ring off and on throughout the day. Also, the printers are designed to malfunction. Expect a power outage mid-competition. I hope those ladies save their work! And finally, the biggest obstacle of all: hyper pre-schoolers."

"Wow! Given those challenges, I'm not sure we'll see any finalist on the podium!"

"Hold on, Rowdy. The competition is about to begin."

A bullhorn is sounded. The contestants fire up their laptops and furiously begin scribbling on their notepads.

"Look at the French competitor. She's already typing!"

"Amazing. I don't know if you're aware of this, Rowdy, but none of these ladies have coaches."

"No coaches?! How do they stay on track? How do they keep moving forward?"

"Sheer willpower."

Thirty minutes elapse. "Things have been progressing smoothly up to this point, Skeeter. The writers brushed off the ringing phones with ease. Most of the contestants simply turned off the ringer, but one actually picked up the phone and began speaking into it, listing her plot even though no one was on the other line."

"Yes, I saw that Rowdy. And I have to say that I've never seen Olympians helping their competitors. As soon as the German contestant figured out how to un-jam the printer, she sent a note to each of the writers with instructions! Phenomenal!"

Several hours elapse. "Skeeter, the contestants are about to face their biggest hurdle: out-of-control pre-schoolers. Let's see how they handle it."

Screaming children run wildly into the stadium. The American finalist reaches into her duffel bag.

"What's she doing Rowdy?"

"I'm not sure, but it looks as if she's--yes! She's pulling out a box of fruit snacks. She's throwing the snacks into the air like a fountain! And wait--she's launching candy bars to the other competitors! Unprecedented! Look, all of the children are clutching their treats and are leaving the stadium!! Now that's sportsmanship!"

Thank you for letting me get that out! That's how I see other writers: gifted, able to work through impossible circumstances, and always generous.

Enjoy the rest of the Olympics. I know I will!


  1. OMG, Jill, That is just hysterical! Thanks for the laugh!

  2. Too funny, Jill! And, I'm afraid to say, far more eurodite than what we've witnessed from a great many of the Olympic athletes so far. (Who knew Mark Spitz was so well spoken? Go figure.)

    On your site and blog, you earn four thumbs way up from us! May they and your considerable writing efforts garner you the best and biggest of all possible audiences.

    Lori & Tony - who are channel surfing this Olympics: NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, Oxygen & USA :> ;>


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